As It Turns Out, Jason Reitman Can Make A Helluva Batch Of Slime

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In the past, interviews I’ve conducted with Jason Reitman have gone to spectacularly weird places. In 2014 I had to tell an editor, “Half of this interview is about Garbage Pail Kids.” (To the point now Reitman’s publicist will ask before I interview not just Reitman, but any of her clients, “Is this one going to be about Garbage Pail Kids?) This time it doesn’t go as far out there, but of course we spend some time talking about Garbage Pail Kids, slime and Cyndi Lauper’s She’s so Unusual album.

That first interview I’m sure my then-editor hated was in support of Reitman’s Labor Day. The one after that was for Men, Women & Children, two films that were surprising critical and financial misfires after Reitman’s impressive run of Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult. In person, Reitman is a “wear his heart on his sleeve” type person and the last time I had seen him, in 2014 at the Toronto Film Festival after reviews for Men, Women & Children had just come out, he looked, frankly, a bit defeated.

Now, four years later, Reitman is returning to film and reteaming with Diablo Cody (the two collaborated on Juno and Young Adult together) with Tully. (In recent years, Reitman has worked on his television project, Casual; he also has a politics-related film coming this fall titled, The Front Runner.)

Tully stars Charlize Theron as Marlo, a woman who is struggling with motherhood and finds solace in a younger caregiver named Tully (Mackenzie Davis) who is there to help out with the kids. (There’s a lot more going on with this movie than you might think, something Reitman both discusses ahead, at the end of this interview with plenty of warnings, and hopes you won’t read until after you see the film.) But first, yes, we discuss Garbage Pail Kids and slime.

I heard your publicist say something to you on the way over and I think I know what it’s about.

She said that we’re just going to talk about Garbage Pail Kids.

When I turned that interview in, I had a lot of explaining to do. “So, it’s mostly about Garbage Pail Kids.”